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No massive traffic jams on freeway during fest

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- No major traffic jams on the freeway were reported during the last day of the three-day Dragon Boat Festival, the National Freeway Bureau (NFB) said yesterday as of press time.

According to the NFB, the peak for motorized trips was between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. at the ramps where National Highway No. 3 and National Highway No. 1 connect.

Based on local reports, the average speed on freeways remained over 80 kilometers per hour yesterday morning, but a minor traffic jam appeared on northbound National Highway No. 5 at around 10 a.m. yesterday.

Liu Kun-ho of the NFB said that the traffic at 10 a.m. caused congestion for at least two kilometers. At around 3 p.m., a small vehicle stalled near the Hsuehshan Tunnel on northbound National Highway No. 5 also resulted in a 5-kilometer traffic back-up.

According to the NFB, the travel time between Yilian City and Taipei City is about one hour during weekdays, but it took drivers about two hours to travel between the cities yesterday.

Based on statements from freeway police, there were some minor traffic jams on some sections of freeways, but the average speed on the freeway yesterday was between 80 and 90 kilometers per hour.

The NFB estimated the number of vehicles for Monday, the last day of the festival, to reach 2.4 million, and in order to avoid major traffic jams on National Highway No. 5, high occupancy control was carried out on that freeway, both north- and southbound. This meant that every vehicle had to carry at least three people in order to access the highway.

Expect a Rainy Week: CWB

A new front will bring unstable weather and heavy rain to the entire island for the rest of this week, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) announced yesterday.

According to the CWB, the front will hover over Taiwan until June 7, so all areas have to be aware of heavy rain for the rest of the week.

The CWB said that the temperatures on Tuesday will reach over 30 degrees Celsius, and there is still a chance for the southeastern region to experience foehn, a kind of dry, warm wind.

According to the CWB, foehn took place in Taitung yesterday, raising the local temperature to 38 degrees Celsius and setting a new record for high temperatures this year so far.

Extreme heavy rain attacked Taiwan during the last two weeks of May, and chief meteorologist of the CWB Cheng Ming-dean (鄭明典) said that convection cells can easily be formed from the fronts, and each convection cell can bring a few hours of heavy rain.

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Chinese language students react to winning a traditional Chinese Dragon Boat race in Taipei on Monday, June 2. Dragon boat races are in remembrance of Chu Yuan, an ancient Chinese scholar-statesman, who drowned in 277 B.C. while denouncing government corruption. (AP)

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